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engage International Summer School 2012

Dynamic Roles: The changing positions of educators, curators and artists working with audiences

28 May-1 June, Helsinki, Finland


Peer presentations

Picture gallery


"Attending engage International Summer School has had a significant impact on my professional development as both an artist and arts educator."  

2012 Summer School Participant


Read Stephanie Hawke's blog post here

Read Katie Bruce's blog post here


Twenty-nine engage members joined engage for the 2012 International Summer School in Helsinki, a peer-led event for mid to senior career gallery educators.


The event was hosted by Helsinki Art Museum. As well as a stimulating range of peer-led sessions and venue visits, the event included attendance at the It's All Mediating conference (30-31 May, Kiasma, Helsinki) an international conference of educators and curators, hosted by The Finnish Association for Museum Education, Pedaali; The Finnish Society for Curators, SKY; and CuMMA, Aalto University. Delegates took part in in-depth discussion, met colleagues from across Europe, heard keynote speakers; and some presented case studies.


Both the engage Summer School and It's All Mediating looked at the role of educators, curators and artists working with audiences in a gallery, museum or visual arts context.


Questions posed included:

  • What are the specific skills of a curator or an educator?
  • How (and why) do we develop professional identities?
  • While specialisation may have brought focus and quality to practice, have the fields of education and curation also drifted apart from each other?
  • What could this division mean for audiences, and for galleries/visual arts venues?
  • How do artists contribute to engaged and participatory practice as educators, curators or artists?

"The whole experience embodied what I've been looking for a long time, the chance to have a dialogue about practice with people who want the same. Let's be honest, in our daily lives we don't always get the chance to stop and reflect."

2012 Summer School Participant


The programme included the following visits and talks:


Day 1 & morning of day 2: Annantalo Arts Centre

Presentation on work and education programmes from Kaisa Kettunen, Head of Education, Helsinki Art Museum and Eeva Mussari, Course Planner, Annantalo.


Day 2, afternoon: Visit to to EMMA in Espoo.

Introduction to EMMA's education programme and collection by Nana Salin, Director of Art Education and Customership.


Optional Public Art tour of Helsinki by Antti Kauppinen, Head of Guides, Helsinki Art Museum.


Day 2, evening: Visit to Design Museum.

Presentation and tour of collection at the Design Museum from Hanna Kapanen, Acting Educational Curator.


Days 3 & 4, It's All Mediating, hosted by Kiasma.


Day 5: visit to Finnish Museum of Photography.  

Introduction to exhibition and education programme from Erja Salo, Education Curator, meeting exhibiting artists Vappu Jalonen and Merja Hannikainen, and discussion.


Visit to Tennis Palace Art Museum.


Days 1 & 2 focused on presentations and workshops led by delegates.


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Pinhole photo by Gaby LeesPinhole photo: futurhaus, EMMA and public art piece, Helsinki, by Gaby Lees
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